Shoes are pretty much the last frontier of eco-fashion. Long after green clothing went from hemp to hip, the shoe industry continued to struggle to be both socially responsible and environmentally sensitive. Sure, companies like Nike and Timberland have made huge strides toward sustainable shoe production, but for fancier footwear, there aren't many options.
Which is why Cri de Coeur is so inspiring. When vegan style maven Gina Ferraraccio got fed up with the lack of high-quality, eco- and animal-friendly shoes, she decided to create her own. Her first collection, filled with gladiator-esque flats and strappy pumps, hits stores this spring. Not only are the handmade visually stunning (not to mention surprisingly comfortable), they're also carbon neutral. Cri de Coeur offsets all the emissions they can't avoid through thecarbonfund.org and plants one tree for every pair purchased. We're sold.
Story by Jessica Tzerman. This article originally appeared in Plenty in February 2008. This story was added to MNN.com.